This much Kafka was absolutely sure of: First, that someone must be a fool if he is to help; second, that only a fool's help is real help. The only uncertain thing is: can such help still do a human being any good? It is more likely to help the angels who could do without help. Thus as Kafka puts it, there is an infinite amount of hope, but not for us.
this would be precisely where the comic is located and the reason why Beckett never did kill himself after all.
The Merzbau in Hannover was destroyed in an Allied air raid and the Norwegian version fell a victim to a fire.
I was going to write down everything I saw and then I thought no that's not the way I should write down everything I do and then I thought no that's not the way I should write down all that passes by and then I thought no that's not the way I should write down whatever occurs to me and then I thought no that's not the way I should write down everything that is said and then I thought no that's not the way I should write down what it all feels like and then I thought no that's not the way I should write down whatever I make use of and then I thought no that's not the way I should write down how each thing sits in relation to some other thing and then I thought no that's not the way I should write down the way whatever comes into view leaves it again and then I thought no that's not the way I should write down everything that could be a pathogen to some other thing and then I thought no that's not the way I should write down the name of every color I could think of and then I thought no that's not the way I should write down a description of every sound and then I thought no that's not the way.
straw. a trampled area. warnings and trays. the indistinction between moving and sitting still is not only a matter of inertia but the persistence of motion in the most sedentary bodies. the countryside seems less menacing if you keep on going through it. this may or may not be a good thing depending whether it remains a menace to those not traveling as quickly. the point though is that they do travel. if everyone remembered this the countryside would not be such a dangerous place.
the whirlwind which rises between is the point of most intimate contact as we pass.
life makes things out of water. it is not clear how it gets from there to the city streets with their furtive nods and long complaints to no one because everyone can hear. we may be far from suffering when we are in motion but only that which moves suffers which makes us closer to disaster with every yard gained. the faster you are going the more it will hurt. my neighborhood for instance teems.
you will get no argument from me. chairs unable to talk facing each other or the fence benign and silent but in great peril. admitting of the rabble who jostle and bare their teeth in malice or not.
I went to write my name in the wet concrete and my finger got stuck and there I sat in the sun and the rain and the snow and hail and sleet and then in the sun again. by this time no one could really tell I was there except that in the depression under my finger a miniscule pool of water was supporting a miniscule population of the unmentionably miniscule.
sighing we stretched out on the sidewalk. what a dirty thing to do. descend into the viral cloud which they say hovers at the ground all the way down my street. speak in tongues as you do it or rather speak in no tongue but speak and let it go. it is not that one must say precisely any particular thing but that precisely a particular thing must be said but there is no stopping there and that is why we find ourselves still reading and moving our lips as we do so.
I told him that is the preacher that I wanted to be a writer. he told me I already was. that was the only time he pegged me with accuracy or said anything helpful at all. mom had sent me there so before going I downed half a pint of rum and smoked half a joint and caring not about the bouquet that surely preceded me walked into his office and waited for words of wisdom of which I received those just mentioned. beyond that he got everything wrong but for a short while I would sit and listen rapt with hope and a hopeless sort of love that would not make its way back to me for some years if ever. the odd thing is he never mentioned faith or god in any of our conversations which would have extinguished my ardor immediately. what kind of preacher was he. a prescient one perhaps in this one way.
to speak in tongues is to live with the tongue as it unfurls itself in telling without recourse to the thing told. only in translation or interpretation is speaking in tongues brought into the light of day which realizes and murders it. what they forget is that no one speaks and nothing is said but rather telling occurs.
at our church we did not speak in tongues. speaking in tongues was something those slightly odd pentecostals did and we were not so sure that speaking in tongues did not have more than a little to do with the devil and so was a dicey practice.
telling of course is devilish to the extent that nothing is specified in it and there lay the danger the loss of common sense.
they will come along and we will recognize them. that is they will come along and keep coming along and no matter who we are because the coming along outlasts any single one of us we will recognize them. any particular epoch is quite out of reach of all the rest but this is not to imply that we live in crucial times they are no more crucial than any other time which is to say for us they are as crucial as can be but no more so than any other time you can think of.
this man defined an age. an age like any other. a man like any other man defining an age. only the difference is you and I were here to recognize him and this will never happen again and thus this age is singular to an unthinkable extent. what does not end empties out at the point at which ending reveals itself as out of the question and if she for instance accompanies us this short while there is no hoping for her return once she has left us alone. or once we have left her alone.
that moment to which we owe ourselves. attenuated and strained.
I was waiting for that one communique that would tell me that what I sought was waiting for me on the kitchen table or that I could get it from the man in the red hat standing beside the gate and I wouldn't have to ask in spanish. it was true that although one could buy anything one wanted within a mile of my house I was too shy to do other than send money to dubious addresses hoping to get the stuff mailorder. it worked some of the time or even most of the time but the real problem was the extended period of anxiety which otherwise would have worked itself out between the man you give the money to and the man you get your packet from. then the first swallow and within an hour you had your answer.
or so I fantasized. the fact is one probably can't get just what one wants on my street but only something infinitely worse and it was this fact that took the shine off the fantasy and with my bashfulness kept me from looking anyone in the eye from sixteenth street to eighteenth although I hoped to glean from a sneaking glance what any one of them might have for sale. they bore no signs.
one writes in the past tense hoping for that stately patina of history and the antiseptic barrier it lends against the puddles of streptococcus that gather in that one alley where there are gaping holes in the pavement and where for some reason always a knot of people mill about papersacked and shrouded all day without going anywhere or doing anything other than just exactly what they want to do. occasionally one spies a magnificent half naked body there and at other times nothing but the obscene crush of nakedness itself hung in thin drooping sheets between three-wheeled shopping carts and awnings once blue but now gray and full of holes. have you got a cigarette bares itself hostile and resigned.
in fact I rarely leave my room. and there is not much of poetry to be written from pillules rattling in the bottom of a brief amber tube please let there be twenty more. what separates us. well it is that door and perhaps a job although what I have could hardly be called a job as the balance of accounts rushes away from me in the wrong direction ever skyward.
so I can give you no sorry story except as they unfold in between unremarkable walls unremarkable as much for their clean white paint as for their absolute replicability. as one makes their way around the world one passes through one wall and then another wall and another and another and another and another and another and between them it so happens. it so happens over here that one faints on the couch and that over there one slams their hand in the door and that over this way are a number who sleep in the throes of their own dreams and sweat and legs that chafe at the sheets tucked too tightly at the foot of the bed. I speak in the abstract but mean precisely this and that is that for three days my ankles pled to be borne up in silk and cotton hammocks that would hold them exquisitely still and immune to gravity.
it was not enough to sink into the sheets. you remember don't you they said but it was a good tired and how the bed received you but my ankles were tossed about unkindly. at ten my legs ached nightly.
I wonder at the rate of recidivism. I have a friend who whispers in my ear to go for it as though living vacarious that one time on the edge of sleep when the well-being of the universe seemed to depend upon my hand suddenly springing away from the bed to whack the wall and then stay upright dazed yet sure that it had done the right thing. I was amazed at its impetuousness. it itself proclaimed itself drunk for one brief moment the archetypal stroke of fate and lightning and whatever else rises up from the earth to beckon heaven but the short of it is I had slammed my finger in a window days earlier and it was the same hand that rushed to meet the wall at twilight bruising and bemused. all the passion of fourteen ran itself out of my arm into the plaster.
for who is the last of us to fall asleep but one who lives always at the brink of fourteen. the bruising got worse. what could one expect but exactly that and exactly where the articulate cement meets obdurate the bruised hand.
from one to the other a bruising and a meticulous flaking off of particles too small for the eye to see. there was no choice but to say it as though it had not been said yet. as though it had not been said yet. as though it had not been said yet. ad nauseum but that precisely lies right in the way.
I only hit the wall once. I only hit the wall once but it was one of those gestures which adds itself to itself until there is very little left or that is very little left except all the other gestures.
in the ideal universe there is charm enough to overcome the lack of space.
think of two words and the difference between them and you will see something like what I mean. the difference between them is precisely their divinity and anarchic, unlocatable origin and inseperable from their being articulated but it is not the same as the words themselves. this is so whether the words are the same or not. forage forage. you see how this works. the difference and there is a real one between stirrup and stirrup for another instance, occurs between them but cannot be separated from them.
this kind of conversation is going on everywhere around you even if you sit and say nothing.
I would fall asleep to the murmuring. there were leagues of us. we'd all fall asleep. that host at the fringe of the edge of the periphery that rushed up bearers of the iron curtain. unsupportable population.